Community Losses: The Costs of Education Reform
23 Pages Posted: 6 Aug 2014 Last revised: 11 Oct 2014
Date Written: August 5, 2014
Philadelphia has been a hotspot for various methods of education reform since 2002 when the Philadelphia School District was taken over by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It now has over 80 bricks and mortar charter schools and sends thousands of students to on line cyber charter schools. Many of the charter schools were formerly traditional public schools that were converted to charters. This article examines how the waves of education reform in Philadelphia have treated public education as a private good, to the exclusion of its role in promoting democratic equality and social efficiency. The article explores how this focus has costs, including the loss of community voice, the loss of effective parental choice for those parents who prefer public schools; economic costs in the negative impact of charter costs on the school district's budget; and loss of opportunities for other methods of education reform that treat public education as a public good.
Keywords: Education reform, privatization, Philadelphia, charter schools, school closure
JEL Classification: K19, K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation